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So long, cubicles: 10 office trends that will be obsolete in 5 years

Posting in Technology

It may not be long before fax machines and tape recorders are relegated to typewriter status: no longer useful in the workspace but fun for a trip down memory lane.

According to a recent survey of 7,000 professionals, these two items earn top spots on the list of office items and trends that are becoming obsolete. Conducted by networking site LinkedIn, the Office Endangered Species study asked participants which office tools they thought were most likely to disappear from the workspace completely by 2017.

Tape recorders, fax machines and the Rolodex machine are all likely to lose their spots on office desks, according to the survey. Participants also seemed to think that standard working hours, formal attire and cubicles are also on their way out.

Here are the top 10 items and office trends that professionals declared to be on the decline:

  1. Tape recorders (79 percent)
  2. Fax machines (71 percent)
  3. The Rolodex (58 percent)
  4. Standard working hours (57 percent)
  5. Desk phones (35 percent)
  6. Desktop computers (34 percent)
  7. Formal business attire like suits, ties, pantyhose, etc. (27 percent)
  8. The corner office for managers/executives (21 percent)
  9. Cubicles (19 percent)
  10. USB thumb drives (17 percent)

So what’s taking the place of these bygone desktop computers and corner offices? Those surveyed said that tablets, cloud storage, flexible working hours and smartphones are becoming increasingly popular in the workplace.

Image: Ben Lakey/Flickr

— By on September 29, 2012, 6:45 AM PST

Sarah Korones

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Sarah Korones is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for Psychology Today and Boston's Weekly Dig. She holds a degree from Tufts University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure